AMST 4500: Kamya's Final Project- Tour of Texas Beach

Tour of Texas Beach

AMST 4500: Kamya's Final Project- Tour of Texas Beach

Richmond, Virginia 23219, United States

Created By: University of Virginia

Tour Information

I was born in the city of Richmond and grew up in the grass. My parents, recent immigrants to the United States, used nature as my playground when I was young. One of my favourite spots as a kid was Texas Beach- a hiking area on the James River named for the city street leading right up to the riverbank.

To access Texas Beach, you walk climb across roots of dense trees, cross a wooden bridge over trail tracks, descend a muraled tower, and trek through trails that pass the water. At the end of the trail lies a serene lagoon surrounded by leafy vegetation where you can hear the clear rhythm of the James River rapids. When I was a child my parents and I used to walk the trail and sit on the rocks in the lagoon, sunning ourselves with the water kissing our feet.

I moved out of the city as I grew a little older and returned to the heart of Richmond for high school. Once again, Texas Beach became one of my favourite places to spend time. In senior year of high school I would skip class with friends on beautiful sunny days to cross the bridge and trek the trail. We'd pack lunches and snacks and swimsuits and lounge by the water until we became so fatigued we had no choice to return home. Some of my most treasured memories have this backdrop.

I chose to revist this special place for my final project with two of my best friends from college. While Charlottesville has its fair share of natural beauty, this is still one of the most unique places to me in the entire world. I take you on a tour of the Texas Beach hike, taking on the new lens of exploring this place through the lens of the original custodians of this land- the indigenous peoples that inhabited it before widespread colonization. Wherever possible, I attempted to escavate some of the deep history of manmade and natural landmarks. Below is also a link to a playlist you might listen to on your walk down the trail, if you choose to experience it with music- all songs are reminiscent of my childhood and adolescence spent by the James River.

Playlist Link:

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

When I first decided to return to Richmond to complete this project, I asked two of my closest friends in college (Deema and Hannan, pictured) to come with me. I thought it would be exciting to bring them to a place that was formative to me... Read more
The first part of the trail is a descent down a steep boardwalk followed by a short downhill scramble over thick tree roots. We were surrounded by other hikers with similar goals, and took care not to trip over anything on the ground. Enter... Read more
The bridge provides a beautiful view of the treetops and the railroad. I found myself appreciating the view through the geometric sides of the structure. We came across many different locks with the names of lovers clipped to the side of th... Read more
At the end of the bridge is a tall storied tower covered in murals painted by students from the local renowned university art program, VCU Arts. For the first time, I took the time to admire each mural panel while descending the tower. Some... Read more
After some research, I was able to identify that the segment of railraod we crossed was a part of the Richmond and Alleghany railroad. The chartering of this railroad was initiated by George Washington and was assigned as a project to the J... Read more
Beginning our walk down the trail yielded our first views of the James River between trees. Before I could even see the river I heard the clear, rhythmic sounds of the rapids and smelled fresh, slightly salty air. The pace of the river prov... Read more
Walking further down the trail, the river began to reveal itself more and more. Sections of the trail exposed us to more water and sunlight while other parts took us into esconded woods where the sunlight made speckles through the trees. Th... Read more
As we began to get closer to the river itself, we formed a closer view of the rapids- fast streams in the river that crash against rocks. The James River rapids are host to many different watersports such as kayaking yearly, but are dangero... Read more
We finally reached the lagoon at the end of the trail and began to seek out rocks to claim as our resting spot of the afternoon. By this point in our journey along the trail, Deema, Hannan and I were exhuasted from the sun and heat and star... Read more
We finally settled in the middle of the lagoon, dropped our bags, and began to eat and enjoy the ambience of the river. As I observed families and friends sitting around us, I thought about how communal the space felt. No matter where we ca... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to